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GPs urged to consider falls risk when prescribing beta blockers

Prescribers should take falls risk in to account when prescribing beta blockers, warns a new study.

The study, looking at data from two prospective cohort studies, found that non-selective beta blockers – such as carvedilol and propranolol – were associated with a 22% increased risk of falls over a two-year period, compared to non-users.

Selective beta-blockers did not confer any risk of increased falls, compared to non-users.

The research, led by a team from the Netherlands and published by the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, looked at just over 10,000 patients taking beta blockers, all aged 55 or over.

The team suggested that fall risk needs to be taken into account when prescribing beta blockers to this age group.

The paper said: ‘Our study indicates an increased fall risk in older people during the use of non-selective beta blockers, contrary to selective beta blockers.

’Falls risk should be considered when prescribing a beta blocker in this age group, and the pros and cons for beta blockers classes should be taken into consideration.’

Br J Clin Pharmacol 2017; accessed 7th June


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